Serapias lingua

I am no orchid expert and in the cold climate of Mt. Macedon I couldn’t grow the tropical ones without the heated greenhouse that I don’t make enough money to build! I have however grown a few cool climate terrestrial species and I have found this one very easy. Alright it isn’t as showy as your average Cymbidium let alone some tropical prima donna from the steamy forests but in its own way it has a quiet charm and I regularly have people ask me what it is and are usually surprised when I say it is an orchid. It grows to about 30cms. or so and flowers in late spring. It comes from Europe and I find in my own garden that it grows in sun or semi-shade in my rock garden. Its only major problem seems to be slugs and snails which will go past a Hosta to eat my Serapias. I find growing it in a gravel mulch helps.

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